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ICBC Bank May Buy Stake in ACL Bank Pcl From Bangkok Bank
The Thai government may approve ICBC's bid to buy its shares in ACL, the Kao Hoon newspaper reported May 20, citing Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij. Korn said he will support the deal if the takeover benefits the Thai bank, according to the report.
Bangkok Bank Pcl, Thailand's biggest lender, agreed to sell its stake in ACL Bank Pcl to Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the world's biggest bank by market value. "We are done with the talks, now it's up to the finance ministry," Kosit Panpiemras, the Thai bank's chairman, told reporters today, adding that ICBC also wants to buy the ministry's stake in ACL. Bangkok Bank said Nov. 21 it aimed to complete the sale of a 19.3 percent stake in ACL, worth $33 million at yesterday's close, to ICBC by the end of 2007. The deal was delayed pending a plan to raise overseas ownership limits in Thai banks to 49 percent. Thailand's government holds 30.6 percent of ACL. A deal would add to ICBC's emerging-market holdings as the state-owned bank continues an overseas expansion drive begun in 2006 with the purchase of 90 percent of PT Bank Halim Indonesia. The firm agreed to buy 79.9 percent of Macau's third-biggest bank in August and bought a fifth of South Africa's Standard Bank Group Ltd. in October, the largest overseas acquisition by a Chinese lender.read source article